Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin muffins

In searching for new pumpkin recipes to try, I came across a pumpkin muffin recipe from Cooking with my Kid, declaring it the “best ever pumpkin muffins.” So of course, I had to check out the recipe.

This recipe calls for a lot more pumpkin puree than the other pumpkin muffin recipes I’ve tried. These were tasty, but they are definitely more dense, moist and pumpkin-y compared to other recipes. As a result, my muffins also didn’t puff up much. They puffed up initially, but then sank back down because of all the moisture.

I enjoyed the taste and I would make these again. They remind me of the sweet potato muffins I’ve made before.

Pumpkin muffins (adapted from Cooking with my Kid)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp  salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fat free milk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, yogurt and milk. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended.

4. Spoon batter into muffin tins, about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mister Sushi

Mister Sushi
111 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 944-2800

We celebrated Little Bro’s birthday this weekend. He wanted all you can eat sushi. Last year, he wanted the same thing and we went to Tadashi.  I thought we should try another place this time and I had heard good things about Mister Sushi (spelled Mr Sushi on yelp and most reviews).

I’m not a big fan of all you can eat sushi because the sushi quality tends to be mediocre and they make you eat a ton of sushi rice, which I hate doing.

There were a couple of things I liked about Mister Sushi. First, they take reservations, which Tadashi does not. Second, they have a huge space including a large sushi bar area and tables and you aren’t limited to the sushi bar area for the all you can eat. This is a big plus when you have a large group of people. Finally, I thought that the all you can eat menu was pretty expansive, including many appetizers and many nigiri options.

I didn’t do the all you can eat because I didn’t want to be stuck eating so much rice. Three people in our group did the AYCE. It costs $28 per person for dinner. Here is the all you can eat menu:

The regular menu is here:

They were doing a 50% off specialty rolls and cut rolls, but the prices on them were so inflated that it ended up just reducing it to normal prices.

I originally was going to order a chirashi bowl, but after seeing the picture, it didn’t look like there was much variety. I found an entry for Mister Sushi special which listed many different kinds of fish and shrimp tempura. There was no picture, but I thought because it costs more than the chirashi bowl it was like a better version of the chirashi bowl.

So when my order arrived, and it was just six pieces of nigiri and a shrimp tempura roll, I was pretty disappointed.

Here are some of the rolls other people ordered.

Finally, the all you can eat. The AYCE people stuck mainly to nigiri. There are a couple of items that are limited two orders per person. Interestingly, inari was one of the limited ones.  Inari is beancurd tofu skin stuffed with rice, so I’m not sure why there is a limit on the orders.

Since we had a birthday, Little Bro was given this tempura ice cream shaped like a sushi roll. I thought it looked pretty cool.

Overall, the service was better than our previous all you can eat experiences: Yoshi Sushi and Tadashi. The food came out really fast and they didn’t “mess up” the number of orders on the all you can eat like Yoshi Sushi kept doing.  They did mess up my order, but they were very apologetic and fixed it right away.

Out of the three places we’ve tried, I think this is the best one for all you can eat sushi.

Mr Sushi on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nutella Swirl Pumpkin Bread

I’ve been looking for new baking inspirations with nutella lately. When I came across a pumpkin bread swirled with nutella on Two Peas and Their Pod, I definitely had to try making my own nutella swirl pumpkin bread.  It allowed me to try a new nutella recipe and a new pumpkin bread variation, all at once.

I didn’t use the pumpkin bread recipe on the original post, but instead chose to use my favorite pumpkin bread recipe. The original recipe used only two tablespoons of nutella. This didn’t seem enough in my opinion to create a proper swirl. So I increased this to 1/4 cup. I ended up getting a much better swirl effect, but it also affected the taste.

The nutella taste was so strong, that it completely overpowered the pumpkin bread. It was as if I had slathered my pumpkin bread with nutella spread. I missed tasting the pumpkin bread. I think this nutella swirl would probably work better with white bread.

It was fun to try though and I love the swirl effect.

Pumpkin bread with nutella swirl

Yields: 3 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup nutella

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour or line three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Mix in the dry ingredients until it is just blended.  Pour into the
    prepared pans.
  3. Take 1/4 cup nutella and drop spoonfuls across top of batter (1/4 cup for each loaf). Use a knife and begin to swirl nutella with batter, making figure eights across the batter several times.
  4. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (The batter portion should come out clean, but the nutella will be gooey and stick to toothpick)